I was admitted to the hospital for pneumonia and had the opportunity to be cared for by Nurse Regan. I had developed fluid collections around my lungs that needed to be drained by a chest tube. I was sent to Interventional Radiology for the placement of this tube. I must admit, I was very scared by the idea of having this tube placed, in particular, the pain I might experience. Nurse Regan called up to the unit before I came down and asked the nurse caring for me to give me a dose of oral pain medication in preparation for the procedure. When I arrived in Medical Imaging, she came out into the hallway, warmly introduced herself and immediately put me at ease. She explained fully what I was to expect and chit-chatted with me to help me relax. My comfort seemed to be her top priority. For example, when she had to look at the computer, she had to turn her back to me, and she said, "I just have to double-check some things in the computer, but please let me know if you need anything at all". When the physician came in, it was clear that this was an incredibly well-functioning team. They verified together with the pertinent labs, medical issues, etc. She advocated for me to receive IV pain medication for the procedure. Everyone was respectful of each other and worked together in harmony. Seeing them in action was very impressive.
The most striking thing that happened, that I will always remember: when the physician was about to start the insertion, Nurse Regan faced me (I was draped over a table) and took both of my hands in hers. At that moment I felt safe and cared for. The procedure was pretty painful- she helped me tremendously- with cool towels, pillows for my head, etc. All the while she was expertly monitoring my condition and making sure I was okay. "Know how much you matter"- the brand promise that is everywhere now: Nurse Regan displayed this to such an extent I felt compelled to write this. This was not an experience I ever wanted, nor want to have again- but at the same time, I was truly in awe of her as a nurse in both her clinical expertise and her genuine compassion. Nurses like this are what make Meriter special. I am so grateful for the care she provided me during a difficult time.